Mohan K’s love for animals pushed him to work full-time for their welfare. Be it stray cats, dogs, snakes, or birds, this rescuer from the Quick Animals Rescue Network (Vanamitra) has taken it upon himself to do what he can to save the lives of these creatures. “I stumbled upon the career by chance,” he says. “It happened when I met a snake catcher named Mohammed Aniz.” Aniz helped Mohan overcome his fear of snakes by letting him accompany him on his expeditions. Mohan laughs when he recounts the first time he witnessed a cobra being caught; he refused to travel in the same car Aniz was taking it back in!
He says that he was put to the test when he was asked to capture a cobra himself in the absence of Aniz, which he managed to do successfully even though he was trembling out of panic. This became the start of a 21-year career that is still going strong and during which Mohan has caught over 25,000 snakes and rescued over 2,000 birds, and has also taken on the responsibility of burying any dead animals he comes across. He also plants seeds where he buries these animals. This, he says, is his way of giving back to the environment. Mohan has been dubbed the ‘Snake Mohan’ (of course!) for his work.
In this interview with RJ Priyanka, Mohan mentions that out of the 30-odd species of snakes that could originally be found in Bangalore, many species have disappeared. Snakes that used to be revered because they would feed on rats that spread plague are dying by the dozen today due to environments that are hostile to their living. Snakes are important to maintain balance in the ecosystem and without their conservation, Mohan warns, the destruction of our environment is imminent. In order to spread this message, he works with schools and colleges in collaboration with NGOs. He encourages the youth to do what is right and contribute to the environment’s well-being. He asks them to actively participate in conservation practices and do their bit to change the fate of the animals in today’s world.
People like Snake Mohan are proof that the world can still be a hospitable place for animals, and it all begins with a little kindness on our part.
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Written by Anagha Bharadwaj.